THREE men have been convicted over an aggravated burglary in Grays where three people were assaulted.

On April 12, a group of men executed a targeted attack on an address in Parsonage Road, Grays. 

Armed with a baseball bat and two chainsaws, they gained entry to a block of flats in at around 11.55pm.

They then forced their way into one of the flats before demanding money and drugs from people inside. 

The investigation has since established that the group were targeting another group of men, who were not present. 

Upon finding that they were not present, they continued and assaulted three innocent men who were inside. 

One of the victims was struck to his arms and legs, another had a knife put to his throat before being struck around the head with a baseball bat and kicked in the stomach, while the third was hit on the arms.

While all three assaults were taking place, another member of the attacking group revved a chainsaw.

After a few minutes the group left and it is not believed anything was taken.

One of those assaulted – 35 year-old Trevor Cowan – was taken ill six days later and died in hospital.

A forensic post-mortem examination was conducted and, with supporting toxicology results, his death was believed to have been as a result of the assault.

Since then further reviews of the forensic evidence were completed and his death was no longer treated as suspicious.

Following a thorough investigation five men were arrested and later charged with aggravated burglary and two counts of assault by beating.

The men are David Guwazah, 38, of Leighton Gardens, Tilbury, Jamie Sheppard, 29, of Rainham Road South, Dagenham, Alfie Livett, 20, of Leighton Gardens, Tilbury, Harry Millington, 27, of Salisbury Road, Grays, and Robert Grant, 28, of Townmead Road, London SW6. 

Guwazah was arrested at his home address on April 20 and weapons, including two samurai swords, a crossbow, air rifle, hammer, and locking knife were seized as well as a number of mobile phones.

Grant was arrested on April 24 after being found in his car. 

When he was arrested a baseball bat believed to have been used in the break-in was seized and a jacket similar to the one he was seen on CCTV wearing during the incident was found during a search of his girlfriend’s address.

On the May 25 officers from the Essex and Kent Serious Crime Directorate, supported by local policing teams executed a number of search warrants and the remaining members of the group were arrested.

Livett and Sheppard were arrested at their home addresses. 

Officers also seized a number of mobile phones and items of clothing similar to that worn by Livett at the time of the incident.

All five had also been charged with murder in connection with Mr Cowan’s death but, following the review of the forensic evidence which identified his death was not suspicious, the prosecution offered no evidence in relation to this charge.

On the first day of their trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, Millington pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary. 

Guwazah, Grant, and Livett were found guilty, while Sheppard was found not guilty.

Sentencing is due to take place on March 6.

Detective chief inspector Daniel Stoten, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “This was a violent break-in where the victims were subjected to intimidation, threats, and assaults.

“This was clearly a planned and pre-meditated burglary by a group intent on terrorising those inside the flat.

“All those convicted now face the prospect of significant jail time.”

Stephen Moloney, 46, of Crow Lane, Romford, and Jamie Dowman, 34, of Raphael Avenue, Tilbury, had also been charged in connection with the incident.

However, no evidence was offered at the start of the trial.